News / Asia

US Satisfied With UN Statement on S. Korea Ship Sinking

In this April 24, 2010 file photo, a giant offshore crane salvages the bow section of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan
In this April 24, 2010 file photo, a giant offshore crane salvages the bow section of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan
TEXT SIZE - +

The State Department Friday expressed satisfaction with a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, though it stops short of directly blaming North Korea for the attack. A spokesman called North Korean claims of victory on the issue overblown rhetoric.

Officials here say the statement achieved the aims of the United States and its ally South Korea, and they are dismissing a claim by North Korea's U.N. ambassador that the outcome was a diplomatic victory for Pyongyang.

The product of weeks of diplomatic negotiations, the statement was approved unanimously by the Security Council Friday.

It condemned the March 26 sinking of the South Korean navy ship the Cheonan, while expressing deep concern over the findings of a South Korean-led inquiry that the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo.

The careful wording of the statement is seen as a concession to China, North Korea's neighbor and main benefactor.

But in a talk with reporters, State Department Acting Spokesman Mark Toner declined to criticize the Chinese role in the U.N. diplomacy, saying the  United States is happy the Security Council spoke with one voice.

Toner called it a strong statement and that the message to North Korea is clear.

"It accomplishes our goals along with the Republic of Korea and our partners in the council," he said. "It provides a unanimous condemnation of the attack. It legitimizes the findings of the joint civilian-military investigation group, and their finding of North Korean responsibility. It also praises the Republic of Korea for their restraint in handling the incident."

Asked about the North Korean assertion of a diplomatic victory in the U.N. deliberations, Toner said he would not react to what he termed overblown rhetoric.

He declined to discuss any possible follow-on action on the Cheonan incident, saying it is time for North Korea to, in his words, absorb the magnitude of its actions.

The White House said the U.N. statement constitutes an endorsement of the findings of the South Korean-led investigation, and warns Pyongyang that the world community will not tolerate such aggressive behavior against South Korea.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a written statement she will visit Seoul later this month for futher consultation.

On another issue, the State Department said a diplomat from Sweden, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea, was allowed on Friday to visit a U.S. citizen jailed in North Korea who reportedly tried to commit suicide.

Spokesman Toner said the consular visit to the American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, came at the request of North Korea, but citing privacy considerations he gave no details of Gomes' condition or where the visit took place.

Gomes was sentenced to eight years hard labor in April after being found guilty of illegally entering the country last January.

The official North Korean news agency said he tried to kill himself over feelings of guilt, and despair that the United States has not tried to gain his freedom.

Spokesman Toner said the United States is concerned about Gomes' welfare and reiterated a call for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid